Text: H.R.5673 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (04/01/2008)


110th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 5673

To amend the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to direct the Secretary of Defense to collect absentee ballots of absent overseas uniformed services voters for elections for Federal office and deliver the ballots to State election officials prior to the time established for the closing of the polls on the date of the election, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 1, 2008

Mr. McCarthy of California (for himself, Mr. Ehlers, and Mr. Daniel E. Lungren of California) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration


A BILL

To amend the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to direct the Secretary of Defense to collect absentee ballots of absent overseas uniformed services voters for elections for Federal office and deliver the ballots to State election officials prior to the time established for the closing of the polls on the date of the election, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short Title.

This Act may be cited as the “Military Voting Protection Act of 2008”.

SEC. 2. Requiring Collection and Delivery of Absentee Ballots of Absent Overseas Uniformed Services Voters.

(a) Requiring Collection and Delivery by Secretary of Defense.—The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 103 the following new section:

“SEC. 103A. Collection and Delivery of Absentee Ballots of Absent Overseas Uniformed Services Voters.

“(a) Collection.—The Presidential designee shall establish procedures for collecting absentee ballots of absent overseas uniformed services voters in elections for Federal office, including absentee ballots prepared by States and the Federal write-in absentee ballot prescribed under section 103, and for delivering the ballots to the appropriate State election officials.

“(b) Ensuring Delivery Prior to Closing of Polls.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Under the procedures established under this section, the Presidential designee shall ensure that any absentee ballot collected prior to the applicable deadline described in paragraph (2) is delivered to the appropriate State election official prior to the time established by the State for the closing of the polls on the date of the election.

“(2) APPLICABLE DEADLINE.—The applicable deadline described in this paragraph is—

“(A) noon (in the location in which the ballot is collected) on the last Friday that precedes the date of the election involved, in the case of a regularly scheduled general election for Federal office; or

“(B) noon (in the location in which the ballot is collected) on the fourth day that immediately precedes the date of the election involved, in the case of any other election for Federal office.

“(c) Use of Contractors.—

“(1) USE OF CONTRACTOR PERMITTED.—To the greatest extent practicable, the Presidential designee shall carry out this section by contract with a private provider of air transportation.

“(2) TRACKING MECHANISM.—Any contract entered into pursuant to paragraph (1) shall include a requirement that the private provider of air transportation implement procedures to enable any individual whose absentee ballot is collected by the Presidential designee under the procedures established under this section to track the progress of the ballot using the Internet, an automated telephone system, or such other methods as may be provided under the contract.

“(d) Absent Overseas Uniformed Services Voter Defined.—In this section, the term ‘absent overseas uniformed services voter’ means an overseas voter described in section 107(5)(A).

“(e) Authorization of Appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Presidential designee such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section. Any amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization under this subsection shall remain available until expended without fiscal year limitation.”.

(b) Conforming Amendments.—

(1) FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITIES.—Section 101(b) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff(b)) is amended—

(A) by striking “and” at the end of paragraph (6);

(B) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (7) and inserting “; and”; and

(C) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(8) carry out section 103A with respect to the collection and delivery of absentee ballots of absent overseas uniformed services voters in elections for Federal office.”.

(2) STATE RESPONSIBILITIES.—Section 102(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1(a)) is amended—

(A) by striking “and” at the end of paragraph (4);

(B) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (5) and inserting “; and”; and

(C) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(6) carry out section 103A(b)(2) with respect to the processing and acceptance of absentee ballots of absent overseas uniformed services voters.”.

(c) Effective Date.—The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2008 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

SEC. 3. Protecting Voter Privacy and Secrecy of Absentee Ballots.

Section 101(b) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff(b)), as amended by section 2(b), is amended—

(1) by striking “and” at the end of paragraph (7);

(2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (8) and inserting “; and”; and

(3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(9) take such actions as may be required to ensure that absent uniformed services voters are able to cast absentee ballots in a private and independent manner, and that the contents of absentee ballots of absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters will remain secret until tabulation by the appropriate State election official.”.